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John Pettitt holding the “Ryder Cup” 1985

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Tallinn’s City Walls

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The gates were the only entrances' into the city in the Middle Ages. The city was protected by Paks Margareeta (Fat Margaret), a 24 m wide cannon tower next to the Great Coast Gate that was built by Westphalian builder Gert Koningk.

The public can also visit Neitsitorn (Virgin's Tower) and Kiek in de Kok (Peek in the Kitchen). Stables for the rulers' horses were located at the foot of the former, as was the city's copper forge, where bells and bronze cannons were produced. In the course of the Livonian war alone (1558-1583),250 cannons were manufactured: not bad for a pre-industrial age facility.

Another gate that has withstood the test of time is Liihikese jala varav (Short Leg Gate), named after the steep stair leading from Toompea to the lower town. The Pikk jalg (Long Leg), Uihike jalg's longer twin, follows the wall separating Toompea from the lower town. The citadel and the lower town were administratively joined as late as 1889, from which time the gates between the neighbourhoods have always remained open.

The wall, up to 3 m thick and 15 m high, is similar to city defences on the island of Gotland (Visby), Rhineland and Westphalia.  As a late medieval defensive fortification, the wall made out of characteristic Estonian limestone is unique most of all for the extent to which it has survived.  

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